USA: Campaigners attack Walmart’s sick policy
Campaign group WakeUpWalmart.com and a coalition of supporters this week launched a national week of action against Walmart’s ‘irresponsible’ sick leave policy. Last year Walmart – the world’s largest retailer – was on the end of critical press coverage when it was revealed it gave employees “demerits” that can lead to dismissal when they call in sick. Beatrice Parker, a former greeter at Walmart in Charlotte, North Carolina, felt compelled to resign due to Walmart’s sick leave policy after suffering from a bladder infection caused by not being given bathroom breaks at work. She tells her story in a new video released by the campaign, a project of retail union UFCW. The campaigners say Walmart’s policies and actions create a working environment where sick employees feel they are faced with a choice between spreading infections and keeping their job. They add Walmart deserves public demerits for sick leave policies that put the public at risk and make its employees sicker. The campaigners say Walmart is America’s largest private employer and sets the standard for workplaces in the retail industry. Walmart ‘associates’ – employees – should not be afraid of losing their jobs simply because they are too sick to help customers, they say.
Former Walmart Associate Beatrice Parker’s Story